St. Louis Blues goalie mask.

(Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

Blues Goalie Prospect Retires From Hockey

"I want to thank the St. Louis Blues, my hometown team, for drafting me and giving me an opportunity to pursue my dream."

November 12, 2018 - 10:38 am
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ST. LOUIS (Blues/KMOX) – The St. Louis Blues goaltender and St. Louis native Luke Opilka announced today his retirement from professional hockey. 

“I want to thank the St. Louis Blues, my hometown team, for drafting me and giving me an opportunity to pursue my dream,” said Opilka.  “Unfortunately, my career ended sooner than I hoped, but I’m excited to continue my education and begin a new chapter in my life.”

Opilka, 21, was originally drafted by the Blues in the fifth round, 146th overall, of the 2015 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft. He was born in Effingham, Ill. and was a member of the AAA St. Louis Blues and Affton Americans in his youth career.

Prior to being drafted, he spent two seasons with the U.S. National Development Team in the United States Hockey League, winning a gold medal with Team USA at the 2015 U-18 World Chamionships, before joining the Kitchener Rangers in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).  Opilka appeared in 75 games overall with the Rangers, posting a 40-24-6 record.

While playing for Kitchener, Opilka was diagnosed with hip dysplasia.  Over the past two seasons, Opilka has gone through two major hip surgeries – one on each hip.  Currently, he is still in the process of recovering and rehabilitating from his second surgical procedure.